Technically, The Week 14 Hitting Planner should include these games since most leagues combine Week 14 and 15 together into one long week. With the All-Star Game festivities cutting into the amount of games in Week 15 we combined two weeks to make the Week 15/16 Hitting Planner.
This week’s theme is a mystery, but it is also a pretty explosive. Without any more hesitation, let the fireworks fly (albeit a bit late) on the Week 15 Hitting Planner.
Week 15/16 Hitting Planner
Chris Herrmann, ARI (at ATL, at CIN, vs WAS)
Over his last six games, Chris Herrmann has a double in 15 at-bats. In that same time span, Herrmann has an average exit velocity of 97.6 mph, which includes being 1-for-6 on balls hit in play above 95 mph. He has been hitting the ball hard without much success and like a Roman candle, Herrmann could see a burst of power after the ASG.
Logan Morrison, TB (at LAA, at OAK, vs TEX)
This is as much about an Angry Logan Morrison as it is about his last 53 PA. LoMo feels snubbed from the Homerun Derby, and I think after the break he comes out hot, well hotter than he already is. Over his last 53 PA, LoMo has a 198 wRC+, a 5.7% K%, and a 1.127 OPS. With a 7% Soft%, LoMo could hit a cluster of home runs against the Angles who are giving up 1.42 HR/9 as a team (sixth most in MLB).
Whit Merrifield, KC (vs TEX, vs DET, vs CHW)
Steals are a category that is hard to predict. Whit Merrifield has swiped five bags over his last 34 PA. He has been able to do so riding a .353 OBP. We know Whit is getting on base and he has been running, so hopefully, both continue post ASG.
Jedd Gyorko, STL (at PIT, at NYM, at CHC)
The Cardinals third baseman has been on a line drive tear over his last 19 plate appearances. 45.5% of his contact has been line drive and his fly ball rate is down to 18.2%. Although the sample size is small, Gyorko is 0-for-3 in balls hit at 100 mph in his last 19 PA. All these signs point to two things for me, either Gyorko continues his hot streak but adds some power numbers to it or he normalizes back into what is already a pretty valuable bat for the Week 15/16 Hitting Planner.
Ketel Marte, ARI (at ATL, at CIN, vs WAS)
The first thing you need to know is that Ketel Marte has completely revamped his swing. The second thing you need to know is that over his last seven games he is third among shortstops in EV on fly balls and line drives with an EV of 100.5 mph. With his new swing and an ability to play left field, Marte could continue to stroke the ball with consistent playing time. Look for Marte to continue his mini-breakout.
Randal Grichuk, STL (at PIT, at NYM, at CHC)
Randal Grichuk is 1-for-5 with a home run on balls he has hit above 100 mph over his last seven games. Expanding on that, he is 3-for-25. Both are not positive signs, but what is encouraging are his 53.3% Hard%, 53.3% FB%, and a 96.4 mph EV on fly balls and line drives. Grichuk should turn it around after a break and begin a power hitting hot streak. For his career, he has been better in the second half (129 wRC+ after, 92 wRC+ before ASG)
Joc Pederson, LAD (at MIA, at CHW, vs ATL)
Another player who changed his swing, Joc Pederson is back with just as much power. The swing change was minor, but the results look major. Pederson is hitting fly balls and line drives at an EV of 95 mph, and if he is anything like the Pederson of old, there are going to be a lot of fly balls taking off in Miami.
Mitch Haniger, SEA (at CHW, at HOU, vs NYY)
The Week 15/16 Hitting Planner welcomes Mitch Haniger back as it looks like he’s in for another hot streak. Haniger is crushing line drives and fly balls at 97.2 mph EV without much to show for it. A matchup against a White Sox starting rotation giving up 1.6 HR/9 could spark another hot start to the second half for Haniger.
I felt at this point in the season you want to find matchups that could turn immediate dividends for your team. With only a few games, these are all boom or bust picks, but they should be able to push your team over the edge in at least one (each) standard hitting category. This week’s theme was fireworks if you were wondering but come back next week for…
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